Community health clinics are accelerating their adoption of electronic health record systems, HealthyCal reports.
EHR Adoption Rises Among Clinics
In 2006, community clinics had the lowest rate of EHR adoption, with only 8% of clinics having the technology in place, according to HealthyCal. However, new data from CDC's National Center for Health Statistics show that community clinics now have one of the highest rates of EHR adoption, with 74% of physicians in community clinics reporting using the technology.
According to HealthyCal, many clinics decided to adopt EHR systems to qualify for funds from the 2009 federal economic stimulus package. Under the stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.
In addition, some community clinics said they are adopting EHR systems because they expect the technology to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
Health IT Challenges for Clinics
Although more community health centers have adopted EHR systems, many clinics have encountered challenges with the technology, such as:
- The cost of transitioning from paper to electronic records;
- Difficulty training staff to use the new system;
- The need to customize an EHR system to fit the workflow of community clinics; and
- Concerns about ensuring the privacy and security of patient data (Shanafelt, HealthyCal, 9/17).